Liverpool and Chelsea will this week face off in the first ever all-English UEFA Super Cup.
Ahead of Wednesday’s match, PA takes a look at five of the main talking points ahead of the Besiktas Park clash.
Lampard to get first win – and Cup?
Maurizio Sarri was at the helm when the Blues comprehensively overcame Arsenal 4-1 to lift the Europa League in Baku. A lot has changed in the subsequent 11 weeks, with match-winner Eden Hazard leaving, a transfer ban being juggled and fan favourite Frank Lampard getting the manager’s job.
Chelsea’s all-time top scorer endured a nightmare start to life in charge, with his first match ending in a 4-0 loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday. Lampard has a chance to make amends in Istanbul on Wednesday, when a first victory would bring the first trophy of his managerial career having twice fallen short in the Super Cup during his playing days.
More Istanbul memories for Liverpool?
It is 14 years since the Reds enjoyed one of the most memorable nights in their history, overturning a three-goal half-time deficit to draw 3-3 and beat AC Milan on penalties to lift the Champions League at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium.
Liverpool will be hoping to return there for the 2019/2020 finale, but first comes another shot at silverware in Istanbul as Jurgen Klopp’s men line up at Besiktas Park in the Super Cup. Liverpool are bidding to lift the Super Cup for a fourth occasion – a great chance to lay down a marker to rivals at the start of the season.
Can Adrian handle the pressure?
Adrian’s six-year stint with West Ham came to an end in the summer, having made 150 first-team appearances in all competitions and twice been voted Hammer of the Year runner-up.
Liverpool picked up the free agent as back-up to Alisson Becker last week and now the 32-year-old finds himself preparing to line up in the UEFA Super Cup after a calf injury forced the Brazil goalkeeper off against Norwich. It is a big stage for a first start and it will be interesting to see how Adrian gets on.
Kante to win another European fitness race?
“We need to make a decision on him,” Lampard said in the bowels of Besiktas Park. “He has a small injury which we are concerned about and we will have to decide with him on that this evening.”
In May, not only did N’Golo Kante overcome injury concerns but he managed to play the full 90 minutes as Chelsea won the Europa League. The France international managed to come off the bench at Manchester United after a disrupted summer, only for Lampard to reveal he has sustained a new knock. Kante trained with the rest of his Chelsea team-mates on the eve of the game, but the manager has to decide whether to risk the midfielder.
Historic moment for women’s football
Stephanie Frappart will write her name in the history books on Wednesday as she becomes the first female referee to officiate a UEFA men’s competition event. Assisted by Manuela Nicolosi and Michelle O’Neill from the Republic of Ireland, the decision has been welcomed by Chelsea boss Frank Lampard, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and players from both teams.
A momentous occasion, O’Neill hopes it can be an inspiration to young girls across the world.
At the 2019 #SuperCup in Istanbul, a female official will take charge of a major UEFA men's competition event for the first time ever.— UEFA (@UEFA) August 2, 2019
Huge congratulations to Stéphanie Frappart and her predominantly female team of officials on the appointment 👏https://t.co/KHrJiRAY7Q
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Former Inter Milan and Netherlands midfielder Wesley Sneijder has announced his retirement from football.
The 35-year-old made a record 134 appearances for the Netherlands and helped them reach the World Cup final in 2010.
The Dutchman also played for Ajax, Galatasaray, Real Madrid, Nice and Al Gharafa.
Sneijder has now bought a corporate box at his hometown club Utrecht to watch them.
“My love for the city of Utrecht is great,” he told the Eredivisie side’s official website.
“We often talked about the possibility of me coming here, and now we’ve put this thing on paper. I’m looking forward to a great season.”
Liverpool were pipped to the Premier League title by Manchester City but the Merseysiders went all the way in Europe’s elite club competition, defeating domestic rivals Tottenham in the Madrid final in June.
While that night in the Spanish capital and the aftermath are special memories for Klopp, the Liverpool manager insists they will not dull his side’s hunger as they pursue further honours this season.
Asked what they need to do to build on their success, Klopp told uefa.com: “Stay greedy. That’s very important – I have no doubt about that, but it’s clear that we have to do that.
“After the (Champions League) final we had about four weeks where everybody was (patting us on the back) and it was brilliant wherever we went.
“It’s just nice, but in a different world things like this can soften you and it can take the power out of you a bit. We are not like this, but it’s a fact that it could happen.
“We only have to do the same again, and with a couple of things we maybe didn’t do too well, we have to do better.
“Knowing that something works out helps you to believe that it’ll work out again, 100 per cent.
“That helps when I try to convince the boys that (anything is) possible. Thank God I’m not the only one in the dressing room who thinks that these things are possible, and that helps a lot.”
Liverpool can add another trophy to their collection on Wednesday when they take on Europa League winners and Premier League rivals Chelsea in the Super Cup final at the Vodafone Park in Istanbul.
Klopp said: “The Super Cup itself is not a cup that I’ve really loved to watch in the past because I was often (the beaten finalist in the Champions League or Europa League).
“The Super Cup is obviously the final proof; if you are not in that game, it means you didn’t win the final. That’s completely different this year, so we’re looking forward to it. It’s a big one.”
While Liverpool opened their Premier League campaign with a 4-1 victory over Norwich, Frank Lampard’s tenure as Chelsea head coach started with a dismal 4-0 hammering at Manchester United.
Lampard has been hindered by Chelsea’s transfer ban over the summer while the Blues sold talisman Eden Hazard to Real Madrid.
Klopp added: “It’s a final, but the big difference between the Champions League final and this game is that it’s a new season, a different opponent.
“I think Chelsea have changed a lot: a new manager, Eden Hazard is not there anymore.”
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